Thailand - 85 years of foundation of Sisters Servants of Immaculate Heart of Mary (SIHM)

15 December 2022

(ANS – Ratchaburi) - On 3-4 December 2022, the Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary celebrated a 'Thanksgiving Day' on the occasion of its 85 years of foundation, at Baan Pornphatchara Hathai Niramol, Ratchaburi Province

Way back on 7 December 1937, H.E. Gaetano Pasotti, the Salesian missionary, announced the establishment of a group of native religious women named "Society of Sisters of Succor" in Bangnokkhuek to help the missionaries. The first group of women were those who worked at the Salesian seminary in the same area. Sr. Antonietta Morellato, FMA, a missionary of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, was the novice mistress, and a priest from the seminary helped in the formation. Later, the society moved across the river to a convent on the side of the Church of the Nativity.  After the members of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians moved out to establish their center in Banpong, the new society received their formation and they lived and worked at the Church in Bangnokkhuek until 1955. Then, H.E. Bishop Peter Caretto arranged a place as their center in Ratchaburi. The society changed its name to "The Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary". They worked in schools, and they opened schools in many provinces of the south. They uphold the charism 'to love, to serve, and to forgive' in their apostolic work, following the teachings of the founder.

With deep feelings of gratitude for the continuous blessings of God, in the morning of 3 December 2022, the Sisters held their monthly spiritual recollection.  Then from 2 to 4 pm, there was the gathering under the theme "The Family of the Sisters Servants Walking Together"...the past pupils, the lay collaborators, the Sisters, and the aspirants reviewed together the history, and they expressed the spirit of the Society in various creative ways

At 5:30 pm., Bishop John Bosco Panya Kritcharoen presided at the celebration of the Holy Eucharist; about 250 people participated including priests, religious, and faithful at the chapel of Baan Pornpahrchara Hathai Niramol, Ratchaburi, in a family atmosphere.  In his homily, the Bishop reminded participants to remember the founder, H.E. Gaetano Pasotti, and the first formators - the Salesians and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, and the first superiors of the Society. On a personal note, the Bishop revealed that he had been close to the Society since childhood, as an acolyte in this convent. Today, the Salesian Family, the Diocesan Family are here to express our joy to the Family of the Sisters Servants who have grown so admirably, they said, from Bangnokkhuek to Ratchaburi, expanding to the South, going up to the North, and as missionaries to Cambodia for already 25 years.  At the end of the ceremony, there was a fraternal agape.

On Sunday, 4 December 2022, the second day of the event on the theme "The Family of the Sisters Servants Walking Together", two speakers were invited to address the audience: Fr. Phaisal Joseph who shared on the Assembly of Bishops and the family of the local church, and Fr. Nopphadol Joseph who spoke on Salesian charism.  A dialogue followed through 3 representatives of the past pupils. All the activities organized corresponded to the objectives laid down, namely:

1. To build good relationships among the Sisters, lay collaborators, past pupils, parents, and aspirants, at all levels of the Society;
2. To raise awareness of belonging and participation in the local church according to the spirit of the Assembly of Bishops 2021 – 2023;
3. To raise awareness of belonging and participation in the life, mission, and spirit of the Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the charism and mission of the Salesian Family;
4. To set up guidelines for common practice in order to walk together in the year 2023.

Sr. Maleewan Poramatvirote, the Provincial Superior, expressed her gratitude to all the participants and the organizers of this event.  She saw the strength of the Family of the Sisters Servants which was nurtured by the missionaries and formators of the past until this has grown and has lived to be like yeast in the present society, and she said, We shall walk together, like the song "The Family of the Sisters Servants". This brought the event to a close.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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